11-Apr-2009 -- The Top End 4WD Club is a social group that organises camping and 4WD trips around the Northern Territory of Australia. Coming up to the Easter 2009 long weekend the club decided to head down to Mataranka approx. 400km south of Darwin. It just so happened there was an unvisited confluence site just outside the town, so we decided to attempt this confluence site.
The site is located within a pastoral property called "Stylo" and permission was required from the pastoralist for access to their property as well as obtaining keys for gates and other obstacles along the way. Fortunately through a friend of a friend we were able to contact the pastoralists and were given permission to enter their property. The pastoralist are keen users of GPS and GIS software for the management of their property and were happy to give us access provided we left everything as we found it.
On the day we entered the property and had planned to follow various fenceline tracks to within 2km of the confluence before we would have to drive through the bush. Unfortunately we missed a pigeon gate and found ourselves heading in the wrong direction but continued anyway having decided to take the more scenic route around, which involved driving past cattle yards and watering points and waiting for cattle to cross the track. We passed through numerous gates before we came across the original boundary track we had missed the turnoff for earlier.
We followed the boundary track for about 6km (this was as close as we could get to the confluence site on the boundary) and turned into the bush. We then had to negotiate our way through the bush which in places got too thick to drive through so we had to make detours. We were able to drive within 300 m of the confluence before having to walk due to the thickness of the bush. Once we got to the confluence site however the bush opened up again. We finally got to our site! Which was a happy occasion, as our first attempt to another location had failed.
We were fortunate enough to have an expert in Land Systems with us who described the Land System Pattern as a Plain and Element as a Plain. The vegetation type for our "Plain,Plain" is Eucalypt woodland over perennial grasslands. This area had not seen rain since early Febuary 2009 so was already looking quite dry.
The picture of the bush has been taken approx 5 m away from the point looking in a westerly direction. The small tree in the centre of the photo is approx 30cm to the west of the point. We had 5 GPS's with us which all showed the correct position within 5m of each other. However our readings jumped around whilst trying to photo the GPS screen.
In all it was a nice afternoon drive, not far off the beaten track and a relatively easy confluence to visit. The Top End 4WD Club appreciates the permission granted by the owners of Stylo Cattle Station to visit this location.